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In today's fast-paced global economy, it's critical to identify, understand and measure how certain business drivers impact your supply chain and your company's business growth.

To do so, you must consider the critical role that labeling plays in meeting the demands of key business drivers. These drivers can have a significant influence on the performance and overall success of your business.

Regulatory & Compliance, Customer Responsiveness, Supply Chain Efficiency, Business Continuity, Enterprise Collaboration – when any of these significant business drivers intersect with enterprise labeling it can result in improved performance and efficiency across a global supply chain.

Meeting the Needs of Evolving Regulatory Standards and Compliance

Are You Keeping Pace with Regulatory Demands?
As supply chains become more global and complex, the effect of regulations and emerging standards can have a significant impact on business. Labeling is a specific area where constant change is necessary to comply with these evolving standards, especially those where labeling and identifying parts and packages can play a critical role to consumer’s safety. Some examples of regulatory standards impacting a wide range of industries today include:
GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification)
GS1 (General Specifications) Standards
UDI (Unique Device Identification)
DSCSA (Drug Supply Chain Security Act)
RoHS (Use of Hazardous Substances)

Enterprise Labeling for Meeting Regulatory Standards
Adhering to regulations that define how products are developed, marketed, shipped, and disposed is essential to avoid fines, retain customers, enter new markets, and in some case, stay in business. Labeling continues to play a crucial role in meeting these evolving standards. A label represents necessary information about the product being transported through the supply chain, and can include information about when and how it was made, what it contains, how it should be handled and disposed.

Enterprise Labeling Solutions enable customers to quickly and efficiently make changes to meet regulatory standards and become compliant to avoid costly fines and ultimately lost business.

Supporting Labeling Consistency – Replicating data from enterprise
applications to labeling systems introduces risk for ensuring compliance.
Enterprise Labeling Solutions remove the threat of mislabeling and ultimately
non-compliance, allowing suppliers, contract manufacturers, and business
partner’s access to centralized data to produce labels remotely. It’s important
to have a solution that offers the ability to drive label data from a single
source of truth, to obtain consistency throughout a supply chain by enabling
consistent data to support existing regulatory labeling requirements.

Enabling Rapid Labeling Changes – Deadlines are critical when meeting
compliance. Flexible design capabilities empower business users to quickly
and simply make mass label changes without requiring coding from IT or
waiting for software release cycles. Utilizing an Enterprise Labeling Solution
allows companies to meet impending deadlines without being limited by the
time involved in making changes to mass amounts of labels. Instead,
companies can seamlessly make changes to existing templates, without
coding, to affect change in hours or days rather than months.

Managing Regulatory Variations – It’s also necessary to support extensive
variability brought on by the complexity of regulations, products,
geographies, and languages. Business rules logic empowers companies to
address current regulatory requirements, and account for customer
requirements, while providing agility to quickly and easily react to future
changes. Based on the attributes of the transaction that drives the label print
request, implementing business logic allows label content and format to
dynamically change to account for the product information, warning
statements, pictograms, languages, and customer-specific elements required
on a label.

Providing Competitive Advantage Through Improved Customer Responsiveness

Can You Quickly Accommodate Customer Needs and Requests?
Customer responsiveness is the ability of a business to recognize and respond immediately to changing customer needs. Today, your customer’s labeling requirements are more demanding and variable than ever, which is why labeling has become such a critical part of meeting this important business driver. To compete in today’s fast paced, global environment, companies must be able to work closely with their customers to provide value-added, tailored offerings, and do so in a timely and efficient manner.

Enterprise Labeling for Improved Customer Responsiveness
Changes to labels are always being driven by customer-specific requirements. Businesses failing to meet those requirements in a timely fashion find themselves with dissatisfied customers that will likely turn to competitors. Businesses that view labeling as a key enabler in customer responsiveness, find increased opportunities to serve their client base and drive revenue. Labeling solutions can provide the capabilities to meet customer requirements and do so quickly to offer a serious competitive edge.

Enterprise Labeling Solutions enable customers to provide improved customer responsiveness, enabling them to meet any labeling requirements, respond quickly to any changes, and to drive customer satisfaction and ultimately revenue.

Providing Speed/Flexibility – Flexible design capabilities empower
business users to quickly and simply manage label design and changes. With
a solution that offers WYSIWYG design and browser-based capabilities,
business users are able to take ownership of the design process eliminating
the need for IT to get involved and write code to handle new label creation
and label changes.

Meeting Regulatory Standards – As organizations are required to adhere
to new regulatory standards, it’s important to maintain a solution that allows
customers to easily create new or modify existing labels. Enterprise labeling
offers all of the symbologies, tools, and integration to sources of regulatory
data to make sure you’re able to meet the needs of evolving requirements.
Centralized label management can help ensure that your labeling has
consistency and that your company is adhering to regulatory guidelines
throughout your company’s global supply chain.

Supporting Global Expansion – Today, companies need to meet the rigors
of their customers’ global requirements, such as languages, images, formats,
and printers, and to manage variability across multiple industries and regions.
Business rules functionality allows customers to handle a greater degree of
labeling complexity and to easily configure labels and enable variations in
geographies and language in a single place.

Driving Efficiency Throughout The Supply Chain

Is Your Supply Chain Responsive and Efficient?
With today’s supply chain becoming more complex and global in scale, it has become increasingly challenging to ensure responsiveness and efficiency throughout the supply chain. Labeling is a critical factor when considering a business’s ability to quickly and seamlessly distribute products from supplier to customer. To ensure an effective supply chain strategy, companies must consider how labeling intersects with evolving demands such as globalization of manufacturing, safety and quality of products, shorter lead-times, lean business environments, and changing market demands.

Enterprise Labeling for Maximizing Supply Chain Efficiencies
Bottlenecks and errors in labeling can cause a major threat to any business and a disruption in supply chain can be devastating to the company’s bottom line. In today’s modern supply chain, every product and shipment includes a barcode label, incorporating all of the information necessary to ensure that each item moves throughout the supply chain at the intended speed, and to the intended destination. This makes labeling a mission-critical component of the supply chain where disruptions in areas such as manufacturing, inventory, receiving, and shipping can threaten production and distribution and result in hefty fines, loss of customers, and ultimately result in millions of dollars of lost revenue.

Implementing an Enterprise Labeling Solution offers businesses flexibility, scalability, variability and high throughput to seamlessly meet customer requirements and help minimize supply chain issues, while optimizing efficiency. Enterprise Labeling Solutions enable companies to support improved responsiveness and to scale globally to quickly and efficiently navigate products through their supply chain.

Avoid Costly Downtime – It’s important to understand that labeling is
mission-critical to the supply chain and that a labeling system failure can
mean a stop in production. When production stops, extensive downtime
means lost revenues and costly fines, not to mention customer
dissatisfaction.

Extending The Capabilities of Supply Chain Partners – An Enterprise
Labeling Solution enables businesses to increase collaboration and extend
labeling to partners to make sure their labeling requirements are met while
avoiding the cost of relabeling goods upon receipt. These solutions allow
suppliers to access a centralized solution so they can print labels remotely,
fostering efficiency in the supply chain and ensuring labeling and brand
consistency.

Automate Labeling – Enterprise Labeling Solutions offer an alternative to
time-consuming manual labeling, which can reduce supply chain efficiency
and increases incidence of mislabeling. Find a solution which can automate
labeling by integrating directly with enterprise applications and triggering
labeling via existing business processes, while ensuring that label data comes
directly from the sources of truth for label data. At the same time, labels can
be designed and updated by business users, which provide greater speed and
flexibility, enabling rapid labeling changes.

Protecting the Supply Chain Through Business Continuity

How Do You Plan to Continue Business After a Disruption?
Natural and man-made disasters–whether a storm, a flood, a fire, or geopolitical unrest–can wreak havoc with a company’s supply chain and have significant financial consequences. Companies with worldwide operations that include manufacturing and distribution facilities across the globe must ensure continuous flow of goods to customers without interruption. However, when it comes to business continuity, companies most often think about manufacturing and shipping but frequently overlook an essential element – labeling. Even when issues with production and distribution are addressed, if products cannot be labeled during a crisis, continuity is still broken.

Enterprise Labeling for Business Continuity
A disruption to business continuity can result in a critical stoppage in operations, leading to lost revenue, decreased customer satisfaction, and risk to future business. Global companies frequently manage labeling at a regional level. However, this presents a significant challenge; when a break in business continuity occurs, it is difficult to shift production of regional specific labels to another location.

Best practices allow a business to switch labeling production from one location to another in order to avoid a disruption and continue business as usual. Enterprise Labeling Solutions enable labeling redundancy, data centralization and visibility to enable business continuity and provide stability while protecting against lost business.

Enabling a Shift in Label Production – Companies must be able to shift
label production from one facility to another rapidly, while leveraging the
correct data in order to keep the supply chain flowing. Enterprise Labeling
Solutions enable users to leverage label templates from other locations to
minimize the impact on the supply chain during a disruption.

Providing Data/Systems Centralization – Allowing multiple facilities
and/or suppliers access to centralized data to seamlessly produce labels
remotely is crucial to business continuity. Enterprise Labeling Solutions
provide the ability to connect and integrate to all key sources of label data.
Businesses can drive label production from any remote sites utilizing a
centralized approach to label data.

Enabling Business Opportunities Through Enterprise Collaboration

Is Your Business Investing in a Framework for Collaboration?
Supply chain collaboration allows global businesses to reduce costs and add value for business partners such as suppliers, contract manufacturers, and third party logistics providers. Companies that understand the importance of sharing information and aligning processes for collectively generating, communicating and refining information are able to streamline business to improve efficiency, increase productivity and respond more readily to any business issues. Further, companies that share a common language and approach are able to communicate effectively with business partners to realize revenue-generating opportunities, cost-cutting strategies, recommendations for productivity, and more. When it comes to developing a structure for an enterprise to facilitate collaboration across the supply chain, labeling must be considered as part of the framework.

Enterprise Labeling for Enhancing Collaborative Efforts
Companies that don’t attempt to connect business partners across the global supply chain are missing opportunities to meet customer demands, grow markets and increase competitive advantage. For enterprise companies, labeling and shared access to labeling systems plays an important part in generating value from the supply chain network to improve efficiency and meet customer demands. When supply chain partners take an individualized approach to labeling there is a tendency to create redundancy, establish inefficiencies, and increase costs.

Enterprise Labeling Solutions offer the opportunity for business to connect and maintain centralized access and share a common framework for labeling across their supply chain.

Facilitating the Role of Suppliers – Enterprise Labeling Solutions allow
businesses to enable suppliers, contract manufacturers and business partners
to print labels that have been approved for their use and provisioned for
access. This approach ensures consistency of labels produced by business
partners, while eliminating the need for relabeling upon receipt of goods,
fostering supply chain efficiency. Additionally, the data that is fundamental to
labeling can be made available for label printing by business partners
ensuring that labels produced upstream meet requirements for downstream
use.

Integrating Partner Data – Enterprise Labeling Solutions provide the ability
to connect and integrate to all key sources of label data. In addition to
extending label templates and data to partners, Enterprise Solutions also
enables business partners to leverage their own sources of label data. A high
level of flexibility is critical to enable the use of corporate or partner data to
create, manage, and print mission-critical barcode labels across the global
supply chain.

Extending Access to Enterprise Labeling – Companies should look to
leverage browser-based labeling capabilities to extend labeling to business
partners throughout the supply chain. This technology offers a quick and
maintenance free approach to enable immediate access to partners and
suppliers, while providing the opportunity to print the current and approved
labels to meet customer’s unique requirements.

To find out more about how your business can meet the demands of these key business drivers and improve performance, consistency and efficiency across the global supply chain, contact Loftware.

You also may want to check out the report, The Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling, to get more information about evolving supply chain themes and technological advancements that compel businesses to look at labeling differently. And, to stay up to date on the latest developments in Enterprise Labeling, visit www.enterpriselabeling.com, an exclusive blog, sponsored by Loftware, devoted to labeling issues that affect your business in an ever-changing global economy.

About the Author:
Josh Roffman is Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Loftware, a global market leader in Enterprise Labeling Solutions. Josh has over 20 years of marketing and product management experience with leading enterprise software companies. Specializing in the impact of supply chain trends on enterprise labeling, Josh frequently speaks at industry events most recently addressing attendees at Oracle’s Value Chain Summit, Pharma Labeling Conference, and the ASUG Fall Focus.

Volume:
10
Issue:
22
Year:
2014













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